• Water Stress Indices for Research and Irrigation Scheduling in Pearl Millet

      Teowolde, Haile; Voigt, Robert L.; Osman, Mahamoud; Dobrenz, Albert K.; Ottman, Mike (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1987-09)
      The capability to measure the magnitude of water stress in plants is useful for precision irrigation scheduling and other purposes. This paper reports an evaluation of leaf (TL) and canopy (Tc) temperatures, leaf minus air (TL -Ta) and canopy minus air (Tc -Ta) temperatures, and leaf water stress index (LWSI) and crop water stress index (CWSI) in detecting stress in pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) over two growing seasons. Baselines which were used to compute LWSI and CWSI were obtained. The upper and lower baselines for the Tc data, respectively, were Tc -Ta = 4.10 C and Tc -Ta = 3.87- .2001VPD where VPD is vapor pressure deficit in mbars. For the TL data, the upper and lower baselines, respectively, were TL -Ta = 1.97oC and TL -Ta = 1.308- .03006VPD. Tests against photosynthesis, transpiration, and grain yield showed that LWSI and CWSI are better indices of stress than TL -Ta, Tc -Ta, TL, Tc, or Ta. Average seasonal LWSI and CWSI ranged from approximately 0.03 for non- stressed to 0.80 for stressed plants. The reliability of LWSI and CWSI to detect stress and their relation with grain yield suggested the possibility of using these indices for irrigation scheduling decisions.